Frankincense, a highly fragrant resin collected from Boswellia trees, was reputedly one of the gifts presented to the presented to the infant Jesus by the three wise men.
Frankincense trees grows native to arid regions such as those in Northern Africa and South Arabia. These trees are evergreen with thick, needle-like leaves and deeply furrowed bark. The trees favor ravines and dried river beds are germination sites, often growing more than 20 feet tall. Though Frankincense often is used in incense and burned for fragrance, it also has insect repelling features. Today, frankincense is still highly valued for its warm, spicy scent.
Powdered frankincense is used to make perfumes and other cosmetics. It is also used to make incense blends, often in combination with cedar or myrrh
- Grind frankincense tears into a fine powder with a mortar and pestle or an electric spice grinder. Add the powder to homemade soaps and lotions or sprinkle a small amount into a CARRIER oil, such as almond or jojoba, and use it as perfume.
- Burn whole or crushed tears as incense. Light an incense charcoal and place it in a heat-safe container. Place a small amount of frankincense on the burning coal to use for spiritual purposes, as an insect repellent or to enjoy the resin’s rich perfume.
- Inhale the vapors of frankincense resin to clear your nasal passages and ease the respiratory congestion associated with the common cold.
- Pour a kettle of boiling water into a large bowl and sprinkle a teaspoon of lightly crushed tears into the water. Lean over the bowl with a towel over your head to trap the steam. Breathe deeply and slowly and allow the vapor to loosen clogged sinuses.
- Place frankincense tears inside protective amulets or talismans or pass these sacred objects through the smoke of burning frankincense. In many spiritual traditions, frankincense is believed to have the power to protect, purify and aid in spiritual enlightenment.
According to the Scents of Earth website, the milky resin that hardens into frankincense crystals was burned to keep moths out of Egyptian grain silos and repel mosquitoes and flies from Arabic dwellings. In areas where mosquitoes carry malaria, both modern and ancient farmers burned the resin around paddocks to keep their livestock healthy.
Mosquito Repellent Qualities
- According to Parya Varan Mitra website, mosquitoes hate the smell of frankincense. The intense aroma drives mosquitoes away with the help of the smoke. The scent masks the scent of humans or animals protected behind the burning frankincense, while the smoke clouds the mosquitoes’ flight path. Faced with these obstacles, mosquitoes will turn around and find more accessible prey.
- All you need to burn frankincense are some burning coals. Place a few charcoal briquettes or some charcoal tablets in a fire bowl, fire pit or censer and light them on fire. When the charcoal burns down to glowing embers, toss on a few pieces of frankincense resin. The resin soon will begin to smolder and produce smoke.
- Burn frankincense at large outdoor gatherings to keep the air clear of biting insects. Place bowls of the smoking resin around the perimeter of the gathering area. One bowl every few feet should create a barrier that gives your outdoor events a pleasant fragrance. You also may toss pieces of frankincense into bonfires or place small, smoldering bowls on picnic tables. Instead of putting out your charcoal grill after cooking, add some frankincense to the hot coals.
Tips & Warnings
- Use caution when burning frankincense. A small amount of resin creates an abundance of thick smoke. Start by burning only one small tear or one pinch of powdered resin and increase the amount if desired.
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